Vacuum Cleaners: The Basics You Must Know

Vacuum Cleaners are serving us as the best home cleaning essentials since the 20th century. The device, with its highly efficient motor and powerful suction, can pick up dust and dirt in your household that manual cleaning methods can’t do. Even more, its hassle-free cleaning without much manual intervention makes it the easiest and most effective way to get rid of dust, dirt, and other stubborn particles from floors, upholsteries, draperies, and other surfaces.

What is a Vacuum Cleaner?

A vacuum cleaner is an electric appliance that uses high-powered motors to suck air through filters into the machine’s collection chamber, where debris such as hair or pet dander is trapped for later disposal. A variety of attachments may be used depending on what type of surface needs to be cleaned. Some models have wheels to move around easily, while others must be dragged across the floor by hand.

A Little History Behind Vacuums

Vacuum Cleaners, which were originally called carpet cleaners, were invented in the 1860s, but electric power was not added till then, and they were used manually. 

The turn of the 20th century brought about advancements in technology, and vacuum cleaners with inbuilt motors were developed for household purposes.

Through constant evolution in the design and models of vacuum cleaners year after year, we now have a variety of revolutionary vacuum cleaners with improved techniques, filters, motors, and many more enhancements. 

The Main Components of Vacuum Cleaner

To understand the mechanism of how a vacuum cleaner works, you must first know the different parts and components of it. 

The Suction Motor

It is the most important component of a vacuum cleaner responsible for sucking up dirt and debris. The vacuum cleaner uses an electric suction motor that creates pressure in the vacuum by rotating the motor fan. 

Intake Port

Dust and debris are picked up from floors or other surfaces by the vacuum’s intake port, which uses suction caused by the air pressure system. Point to note that the intake port attaches the cleaning head and other interchangeable tools. Not only the power of the suction motor but also the size of the intake port matters. Keep in mind that the smaller the size of the intake, the more suction power is generated. 

Dust Collector

Dust collector is a chamber where the sucked dust and debris gets collected. There are two kinds of dust collectors in a vacuum-one uses a bag, and the other ones are bagless. In a bagless vacuum, there comes a dust cup or container to collect the dirt and debris, which is too easy to empty and clean.


The modern vacuums come with filters, making the surrounding air clean. But why are filters essential? Since not all the dust and dirt particles are caught inside the bag or dust cup, some very fine particles can escape out, causing damage to your lungs. 

To avoid this issue, the vacuum cleaner passes the air through at least one fine filter and often a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filter to remove almost all of the dust. Thus, making the surrounding air clean and safe. 

Exhaust Port

After being filtered, the clean air is expelled through the outlet or exhaust port.

How Does a Vacuum Cleaner Work?

Similar to how liquid is drawn up by a straw, a vacuum cleaner operates on the same principle. The components discussed above work in a synchronized manner to make the whole vacuum work effectively. Let us understand it step by step.

  1. The electric outlet or the battery power supplies energy to the vacuum cleaner’s motor, which has a centrifugal fan attached to it, and that causes suction. 
  2. The suction force ensures that the dust and dirt are drawn up by the brush or another suitable nozzle and carried away through the pipe/hose to the dust collector. 
  3. As the exhaust filter filters all air, only clean air is expelled, keeping debris within the vacuum.

Different Types of Vacuum Cleaners

Upright Vacuum

Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Upright vacuum is the most common model of vacuum. It features powerful suction and tilt-and-push convenience, as well as bagged or bagless options, providing effective back-and-forth cleaning.

Canister Vacuum

Canister Vacuum Cleaner

The canister vacuums are between an upright and stick vacuum and consist of a tank with a long hose. Besides being easy to use, they come with a plethora of attachments and powerful suction.

Stick Vacuum

Stick Vacuum

Like the name, the stick vacuums come with long sticks attached to their bodies. They have a slim profile, and their lightweight design ensures easy usage during your cleaning session. With a rotating brush and light suction, they can suck up dirt and debris into a dustbin or bag and are best for getting into narrow and tight spaces. 

Handheld Vacuums

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

The handheld vacuums are smaller units offering grab-and-go convenience and ensure quick spot cleaning. The lightweight and portability of these models make them the best choice. They are available in corded and cordless models and with or without rotating brushes.

Robotic Vacuums

Robotic Vacuum

The high-tech vacuums ever, these cordless machines can map your room and sucks the dirt and debris without any manual intervention. You just need to program the robotic vacuums and let the rest be done by them. Many models can be controlled via a smartphone app too. 

To know more details on these different types of vacuum cleaners, their utilities, and pros and cons, you can check article on Types of Vacuum Cleaners.

Vacuum Cleaners Attachments and Accessories

The proper attachments and accessories are very important in making your vacuum more efficient when used for cleaning sessions. Well, the six most common and necessary vacuum attachments to augment your vacuum ability are: 

Vacuum Attachments and Accessories

Crevice Tool

This long and slim-shaped tool features a narrow nozzle to get into tight spaces easily. It is perfect for cleaning under the stove, into the corners, around radiators, refrigerator coils, etc.

Turbo Brush

The turbo brush is also known as a power brush that includes rotating bristles for deep cleaning of upholstery, mattresses, or car interiors. You can also use them on stairs for effective dirt and dust removal. 

Upholstery Tool

Like the name, this tool is perfect for cleaning upholsteries. It is wide with a little level head to clean fabric surfaces like sofas, couches, sleeping pads, cushions, and mattresses.

Dusting Brush

It is generally circular in shape with long and soft bristles to clean out the accumulated dust from window sills, blinds, bookcases, baseboards, etc. 

Bare Floor Brush

This wide narrow tool includes short and stiff bristles to remove dirt and dust from tiles and hardwood floors. 

Extension Wand

This is an amazing tool offering extra reach to the above attachments to nab dust from high ceilings, corners, or behind the furniture. 

These are basic tools that you can get from any vacuum you are buying. To get more flexibility to your cleaning sessions, you can buy some more smart attachments separately. 

These include- pet groomers, mattress attachments, ceiling fan, and blind attachments, etc.

To know more about all types of vacuum accessories and attachments in detail, please check Essential Vacuum Cleaners Attachments and Accessories

Utility and Uses of Vacuum Cleaners

A vacuum can do much more than removing dust and dirt from different surfaces. Have a look at the below points to know about the utilities of a vacuum cleaner.

  • It can clean pet hair stuck to rugs and carpets, mattresses, as well as hardwood floors. Not just that, you can also use the vacuum cleaner to remove pet hair from the pet’s bedding before tossing them into your washing machine.
  • Some vacuum cleaners also come with pet groomer attachment, or you can buy it separately to groom your dog by brushing and suctioning away the loose fir. This will prevent excess hair from sticking to various surfaces.
  • The wet and dry vacuum cleaners work wonderfully to clean both wet and dry messes.
  • Smart models come equipped with various filters, even the advanced HEPA filter vacuums, allowing not to escape the dust and dirt particles after vacuuming; only the clean air passes through. This makes the surrounding air healthy and fresh to breathe and so the biggest benefit to allergy sufferers.
  • You can also clean window sills and the crevices between outdoor screens and window panes using your vacuum cleaner. 
  • If cleaning under furniture or tight spots is a hassle to you, the vacuum cleaner is the best solution.
  • It can recover small items too, like earrings, screw, etc. (dropped anywhere in your house like hard-to-move furniture).
  • It can unclog the clogged drain pipes (Wet and dry vacuum cleaners specifically).
  • The vacuum cleaner is also helpful in inflating the air mattresses.
  • Vacuum cleaners with blower function blow out the accumulated dirt and dust from keyboards, piled up snow or leaves in your garden or sideways. 
  • You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the refrigerator coils and condenser.

Price Range of the Vacuum Cleaners

The different types of vacuum cleaners fall under different price ranges:

Upright Vacuum Cleaners: INR 2000 – INR 15,000

Canister Vacuum Cleaners: INR 5000 – INR 15,000

Handheld Vacuum Cleaners: INR 2000 – INR 25,000

Stick Vacuum Cleaners: INR 3000 – INR 30,000

Robotic Vacuum Cleaners: INR 20,000 – INR 1,50,000

The price range goes more for each type of vacuum depending upon the features present in it. 

Best Vacuum Cleaner Brands 

Brand matters! After all, it gives you the surety about quality, performance, durability, and after-sale services. The best vacuum cleaner brands available in India are:


Dyson was founded back in 1991 when James Dyson invented his first cyclonic vacuum cleaner. Since then, he has developed several innovative designs that make this brand stand apart from others. Today, Dyson sells about 1 million units per month worldwide. The company also deals in various household products, including air purifiers, fans, hairdryers, etc.


This American manufacturer has been serving us with its range of floor cleaning products since 1876 and continues to innovate and develop top-quality machines. In fact, they were awarded the “Most Innovative Product” award by Consumer Reports magazine in 2012. 


Karcher is a Germany-based company that leads in developing cleaning equipment for professional and private users. Karcher’s range of cleaning products is suitable for cleaning kitchens, cleaning cars, or performing domestic tasks such as dusting or picking up sludge. Their product range includes vacuum cleaners, pressure washers, push sweepers, cordless electric brooms, steam cleaners, floor polishers, etc. 

Eureka Forbes

Eureka Forbes is an Indian company popular for its great range of Water Purifiers. It is also one of the leading manufacturers of vacuum cleaners, air purification systems, and home security products. 


Hoover, a US-based company, is a well-known name among consumers due to their high-quality range of vacuum cleaners. Its main focus lies in developing reliable yet inexpensive vacuum cleaners.


Shark is one of the leading brands of upright vacuum cleaners. They are now also competing with the world with their innovative ranges of cordless vacuums, stick vacuums, handheld vacuums, robot vacuums, hard floor cleaners, air purifiers, garment care, and irons. 


Philips is an international company based in the Netherlands. It is one of the most preferred brands for Indian consumers. They manufacture many different types of appliances such as hair dryers and straighteners, shavers, TV, healthcare products, toothbrushes, etc. But what really sets them aside is their line of vacuum cleaners.


Black + Decker is a US-based company that manufactures power tools, lawn care equipment, outdoor cooking supplies, and vacuum cleaners. Their vacuum cleaner ranges include upright, stick, cordless handhelds, etc., featuring innovative technology, yet highly efficient and are easy to use and maintain.

Ecovacs (Best Robotic Vacuum Brand)

Artificial intelligence is all the rage right now, and robotic vacuums are the best examples of this. The brand Ecovacs is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of auto cleaning robots to offer you a seamless house cleaning experience. Their intelligent robots feature the most powerful suction and longer battery life to clean your house area without lifting your finger. 

iLife (Best Robotic Vacuum Brand)

iLife is another best robotic vacuum brand famous for providing high-quality auto cleaning robots at affordable prices. Well, their wet and dry robotic vacuum is best amongst their different product categories. 

Vacuum Cleaner Online Buying Options

Online Buying is a craze today, and for vacuum cleaners, you can find a lot of reliable and trustworthy eCommerce sites in India. These include Amazon, Flipkart, TataCliq, etc. Here, you can search through thousands of listings and compare prices before making purchases. The best part is that they offer great deals on the products making your purchase more enjoyable. For your convenience, we have listed the top vacuum cleaners from Amazon.

Things You Should Never Clean Using a Vacuum Cleaner

Never clean wet surfaces if you are using only a dry vacuum.

  • Don’t pick up large glass pieces with your vacuum
  • Don’t vacuum hot ashes of your fireplace
  • Never clean hard objects with your vacuum cleaner
  • Vacuums are not ideal for cleaning up dust and other materials of the construction area.
  • Do not vacuum coins, large pebbles, or small toys. 
  • Vacuuming the clumps of hair can clog the machine and damage it. 

Check More Things You Should Never Vacuum And Why?

Vacuum Cleaner Alternatives

Though vacuum cleaners are the best option for cleaning accumulated dirt and debris from floors, carpets, and other surfaces; still if you don’t want to invest in them, here are few alternatives you may consider:

Electric Broom 

Electric Broom

Electric brooms are a rage nowadays that combines the ease of a traditional broom and the power of a vacuum for a useful and convenient cleaning. These are ideal for intermediate cleaning on all types of floor coverings (hardwood and tile) and carpets. Some basic electric sweepers can collect dust and debris without suction. 

Steam Mops

Steam Mop

Steam mops are another best alternative to vacuum cleaners. It uses hot steam to remove the toughest dirt and grime on floors along with everyday dust. The design looks the same as the steam vacuum cleaner. The only difference is that despite the vacuum head, it comes with a reusable microfiber pad or disposable cloth attached to it. 

Once you turn it on, the water in the water tank gets heated and releases steam across the floor. This steam softens the grime on the floor, and the microfiber pad picks it up and traps it. The steam mops work best on floors, including marble, laminate, hardwood, tile, etc. 

Broom and Dustpan Combo

Broom and Dustpan Combo

Rather than using a standard broom or dustpan separately, the broom and dustpan combo is the best tool to get the convenient and all-in-one cleaning. The design includes a sweeping broom and/or microfiber dust mop with the attached and removable dustpan. There also comes an adjustable broom handle for proper ergonomic use and comfortable floor cleaning.

Lint Rollers

Lint Roller

These are ideal tools if you are worried about cleaning the pet hair all-around your home. Lint rollers are small handheld tools that remove lint, dust, dog hair, human hair, dandruff, and other small particles from clothing, upholstery, rugs, bedsheets, and other surfaces. Most of the models come with short handles, but some also feature long handles to clean floors and hard-to-reach places. 

Air Blowers

Air blower

An air blower is used to blow away dust and dirt from furniture and other objects. Air blowers work like vacuums, except that they don’t suck things into the unit. Instead, they push air at high speeds across the surface being cleaned. Some models also include attachments that let you sweep, brush, or polish. 

The device is best for cleaning your backyard or garden full of leaves and twigs. It can also clean garages and the workshops where dust and debris are very common. Moreover, you can also use them to clean big appliances, like refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, air coolers, & computers. 

Keep in mind that some vacuum cleaners come with a blower function attached to them, so you won’t need to purchase them separately. However, if you’re looking for a standalone model, then buying an air blower is the best option. 

What to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner?

When shopping for a vacuum, certain factors like flooring type, type of vacuum, what accessories you need, ease of use, etc., are very important to consider. You can choose from numerous vacuum styles, such as bagged vacuums, bagless vacuums, robotic, and cordless, all of which have different benefits and innovative features to fit your cleaning style. 

Better to read our Comprehensive Buying Guide on Vacuum Cleaners to know every single point in detail. 

If you have more questions in your mind regarding vacuum cleaners, we recommend that you read our Vacuum Cleaners FAQs and clear all your doubts.

Read Next: How to Clean and Maintain a Vacuum Cleaner?

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